Monday, June 30, 2008

Fountain Square Art Festival---wham!


I wrote on my last post that I was "ready" to head east for the Fountain Square Art Festival in Evanston, Illinois. Wrong!!! There was no way of being ready for that. The show opened breezy on Saturday morning, and picked up even more during the day, to the point that it was annoying. About an hour before closing time, I took a quick break at the artist's hospitality room, and the return trip to my booth gave me a dead-on view of a lovely black cloud perched on the west end of Church Street, which just happened to be the cross-section street of the fair. I ran the rest of the way back and sent my weekend compadre (daughter Abbie) after the car. I started bracing for the hit, which is really ridiculous in a nylon covered tent with aluminum legs! But a person's gotta at least try, don't you think? Abbie pulled the car in as close as she could get, which was actually the alley about 25 feet north, and I got two boxes of paintings loaded and headed back for more. You know, when a 70 mph wind gust is descending, running back into that aforementioned nylon and aluminum tent was probably not wise, but there I was. At first I had the crazy idea that I could hold it down, but then I realized that IT thought it could make my fly. I would say the definition of the word surreal was formulated at that point. That surreal moment?---as it dawned on me, I was next to the panel holding my brand new painting of the Minneapolis bicycle races, and in an ahah! moment, I decided I'd save that one at least, and yea for me, I did. With 45 pound weights dragging from each tent leg, and me and my propanels full of paintings on the inside, we ended up in a heap out in the middle of Sherman street. Amazingly the stupid EZ-up (often referred to in the art show world as EZ-downs) stayed on it's feet. All my apendages seemed to be working (!) so Abbie, a good samaritan named Rod, and I started grabbing paintings and putting them in the front door of the shop that was right behind us, because at that point the bucket of rain over our heads decided to start dumping. Net result: stupid EZup has a slight bend in one cross bar, one section of propanel has an interesting curl at the top, and five paintings have scuffed corners that will have to be touched up. Oh, and we do have a few bruises, but nothing serious. Incredible! Because at the south end of the show, it rolled about 40 exhibits down the street, and there was nothing left to salvage. We talked to an Evanston policewoman who was checking people, and she reported artwork flying up to the fourth story windows of the buildings. The organizers put out a newsletter the next morning--injuries included two broken arms, a sprained ankle and some lacerations. Yowza! So do you want to see the painting I decided to save first? :) (sheesh-crazy artist!)

"Between Laps" from the Great River Energy Bicycle Races, acrylic on canvas, 40 x 40 inches, it's formative stages are shown on my project blog.

Later, Cooper

ps. would you like to see what a pile of about 40 EZups (er, EZdowns) look like all rolled together? Here's a link. Oh, and the guy that wrote the news story with it, talked about the artists with pottery---he kind of missed "glass". Not only were there a number of glass artists there, but lots of paintings are framed behind glass, and when the glass breaks, and your roof is gone, and it's raining, those paintings don't live long---sadly.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Fountain Square Art Festival, And The Mural


And happy Wednesday to you! Spencer, Iowa is a bit on the sun-free side at this hour, but when Ollie and I did our 6:30 run it was absolutely lovely.

I am getting ready for a trip east. The Fountain Square Art Festival, in Evanston, Illinois, is this weekend, June 28th and 29th. It takes place in downtown Evanston, at the crossroads of Sherman and Church. My space is #36 which is actually on the east (northeast?) side of Sherman. For those of you in the area, stop in and say hi! I've got some new paintings to show. "Shopped" just got it's signature yesterday, and I've got a large canvas of a bicycle race on the easel, with two days to spare yet! :)

"Shopped", acrylic painting on a gallery wrapped canvas, measuring a lovely 30 x 20 inches---
About the mural:

Keeping in mind one of the missions of this blog is to tell why some artists paint the way they do, let me tell you about my morning yesterday! Our church is renovating the elementary Sunday school area. Nice rich jewel tone paint is going up on all the walls, and there seems to be a need for a mural over a stage area---"Karen, you can do this, right?" Trust me, painting a mural is so much easier, and more in line with my brain function than being a Sunday school teacher! So with a copy of Da Vinci's 'Last Supper' and my trusty HP camera in hand I met up with a gang of kids to recreate that painting kid-style and record it all photogenically to develop the painting from. I made a few suggestions for poses and then told them to do their own thing, which didn't turn out too bad. I took a few pictures and then thinking I was done with them, they really did their own thing, which I kind of expected to happen. Then I got the best pictures! Would Da Vincini have let one of his models lay on top of the table with chin propped on hands? What would Jesus have said if one of the disciples had done it?! As you might have guessed, I'm thinking this painting will be a lot of fun! I'll keep you posted.

Later, Cooper

Monday, June 23, 2008

favorite book on painting the figure

Hi there,

I just got done uploading today's paint slinging episode images on my work blog. I do believe I mentioned progress that resulted from reviewing my favorite 'painting the figure' book. I should probably expound on that enough to at least give you a title and an author, huh? :)

Bodyworks, A Visual Guide To Drawing The Figure by Marbury Hill Brown
I probably appreciate it most from my overzealous visual point of view. This book does not tell you this bone goes here and that muscle does this---it SHOWS you. I always say a picture is worth a thousand words.

I do seem to be, ahem, developing a large collection of books on the subject of painting the figure. And guess what, the mailman brought me two more today. sent me a handy online coupon that expired on June 19th. What else was I supposed to do? I chalk it up to continuing education, which is, I'm sure, tax deductable. :)

Later, Cooper

the venerable competitor, yup, that's me


So I got this special little email this morning from an online competition that I sent a painting to. Apparently I am a finalist, but I am guessing everybody is a finalist :) At any rate, here's the link: so you can go look/vote!

The painting I sent, Amantes Dispuestos, is one of my all-time favs from the readers series, so even if everyone IS a finalist, I feel patting myself on the back over my entry is not a grevious error :) Sheesh. Back to the studio.

Amantes Dispuestos 20 x 30 inches, acrylic on canvas
Later, Cooper

By the way, what I painted over the weekend will NEVER grace the portal of ANYBODY'S competition. Yesterday I grabbed a charcoal pencil and scribbled all over it trying to locate my error/s. For all those of you who question life drawing or painting the nude figure: aaach! The red dress (scroll way down to the bottom of the post) this person is wearing will not cooperate and I KNOW it's because her hips are crooked in there somewhere. I will of course update you on today's paint slinging at a future hour !

Saturday, June 21, 2008

new on the painter front


And happy Saturday to you! I had to take my coffee out to the patio this morning, it's THAT beautiful of a day!

Bearing in mind my promise to journal here, on things that cause me to paint the way I do, let me update you, visually, of course.

I got to go on gramma duty earlier this week. This pair was not letting their mommy get any sleep, and their daddy was sent to Cedar Rapids to help there, so gramma to the rescue. Everything times two, what an underrated statement! Pretty darn cute, huh?

Last weekend I accidentally went to my first real bike race. I happened to be in Minneapolis while the 'Great River Energy Bicycle Races' were happening. A whole section of downtown was roped off so these athletes could do their race while masses of people stood by to watch. It was very high energy and so much fun. I still have mental images of it all, but am glad I had my trusty HP with me---I think the two will very possibly combine for some great paintings :)

And yesterday's studio work gets posted also! A red dress, who can deny the fun there? Stages of this painting are posted on my project blog for you as well.

Okay then, back to work!
Later, Cooper

Monday, June 2, 2008

season opener


If you take a peek at that schedule I posted just a few days ago, you'll see that the summer art show season has begun for the Cooper camp.

I was at Countryside Village Art Fair in Omaha this past weekend. Several paintings have new homes, a fact that pleases me immensely!

A painting that I really pushed the midnight oil on, just to have it finished in time, was amongst those. I was very pleased with how the painting turned out, and it was seriously gratifying to have someone else vote yes so quickly :) (although while it hung on my display wall and I looked at it for awhile, there was one little place I wanted to dab at with a red paint brush!)

And so it's on to Minneapolis, for the Stonearch Art Festival at St Anthony Main, June 14th and 15th. Must be time to finish off a few more paintings--it's always fun to show new ones!

Later, Cooper